Petra Diamonds revenue slides 8%

The group sold 1,712,797 carats in 2020, which was marginally less than in 2019

Petra Diamonds saw revenue fall by 8% to $178.1m (£130m) in the first half of 2020, down from $193.9m (£) the previous year, attributed to the continuous impact of Covid-19.

The group sold 1,712,797 carats in 2020, which was marginally less than in 2019, when 1,743,807 carats sold. In 2020, $40.4m (£) of the proceeds from the Letlapa Tala Collection of blue diamonds was offset by weaker prices and the deferral of sales to January 2021.

Production in H1 dropped 16% which the group claimed was due to the Williamson mine in Tanzania remaining on care and maintenance.

Meanwhile, consolidated net debt for the group at 31 December 2020 increased to $695.5m (£) from $687.8m (£) for the same period the previous year.

Richard Duffy, chief executive of Petra Diamonds, said: “I am grateful for the continued fortitude and resilience of our entire Petra team in the face of this challenge and extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the four employees who have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19.

“I am delighted that we have now secured the support of our noteholders, lenders and shareholders for the proposed restructuring of the Group’s balance sheet, which will formally complete in the coming weeks following the receipt of the requisite regulatory approval.”

He added: “This marks a significant milestone in putting the Company on a sustainable footing going forward. The improvement in the market, with prices from our January sale now back at pre-COVID levels, is very encouraging and will provide some support as we look to optimise the value of our asset base.

“Our operations in South Africa, and Cullinan in particular, continue to perform well despite emerging operational challenges at Finsch, resulting from waste ingress, that has negatively impacted on its carat production. Mitigation plans have been developed and are currently being implemented to address this. Williamson remains under care and maintenance and we are considering various options to resume mining operations.”

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